The newcomer Narwal offers all the cleaning talents of an expensive luxury vacuum cleaner, but is a lot cheaper. Can that work? Here’s the review!
- Suction cup and dock: like a peeler
- Lots of space for water, little for dust
- Cleaning works without a cell phone – most of the time
- Vacuuming: This is how well the carpet gets cleaned
- Wiping: This is how hard the Freo scrubs through
- Navigation: Narwhal likes things tidy
- Narwal Freo: review conclusion and price
- Narwal Freo Review Conclusion
The narwhal is one of the toothed whales in nature. The narwhal Freo doesn’t have a tusk like the sea creature, but it bit through the cleaning course well in the test. And the vacuum and mopping robot with docking station comes at a price that could unsettle the tried and tested competition from Roborock, Ecovacs and Dreame.
Suction cup and dock: like a peeler
Like every luxury vacuum cleaner, the Narwal Freo comes with its own garage. With its curves and bright white shell, the dock looks like an oversized egg – and has a lot to offer. There is only a small slot at the bottom for the vacuum cleaner to park smoothly. But there has to be space for the station. At 44 centimeters high, 42 centimeters wide and 35 centimeters deep, it’s quite a knockout. The docks of the top vacuum cleaners from the competition can easily beat this, but they also have a compartment for a dust bag that absorbs the dirt that is brought home. This “clipboard” is missing from the Freo.
Lots of space for water, little for dust
Two voluminous water tanks take up space in the dock. Both hold 4.5 liters each. Why is that? The Freo regularly moistens its rotating mop pad duo at the bottom of the vacuum with fresh water – but not without rinsing them with plenty of water first. This mop cleaning happens fully automatically and is noticeable through loud scratching and bubbling. The water used ends up in the dirty water tank, which also swallows 4 liters. Afterwards, freshly cleaned, you can travel again. After the cleaning tour, a blower blow-dries the damp shaggy hair with hot air at 40 degrees. This prevents them from forming mold and smelling when left standing for a long time.
Cleaning works without a cell phone – most of the time
The dock also helps with quick operation. It has a circular color display. This doesn’t just show you in a lovingly animated way what the robot vacuum cleaner and station are currently busy with. It also offers direct access to the most important functions via touch interface. The robot can be sent on a cleaning tour at the touch of a finger or the mop cleaning can be activated in the dock. With the competition, you often have to use your smartphone and app. But with Narwal you can’t do without it either: if you want to control rooms and areas specifically or program schedules, you’ll also need a cell phone with Narwal. If in doubt, the cleaning assistant can also take care of everything on its own: In Freo mode, the robot decides independently when and how to clean based on the floor covering, the room layout and the level of dirt, and with which cleaning settings.
Vacuuming: This is how well the carpet gets cleaned
After a first test round to get to know the test rooms, the Freo had to show how thoroughly it could vacuum. The manufacturer states the suction power as 3100 Pascal. The robot performed bravely when it collected a total of 100 grams of dirt mixture made up of cat litter, cereal and wood chips. On average, it swallowed just under 90 grams. That’s a good value, but one that top models from other manufacturers surpass. Thanks to the higher suction power (Ecovacs: 8000 Pascal) or the double roller (Roborock), you can bring home a few more crumbs.
At just under 11 centimeters high, the Freo is quite thick. So he keeps coming across furniture that he can’t dive under. The 480 milliliter dust box in the robot was filled quite quickly during the test. The station does not have a suction function. This is all the more annoying because the container cannot be emptied when the robot is parked. If you want this, you have to pull the device or the entire parking space out of the dock. And so testers tended to catch the vacuum on the go and grab the filled storage box before it arrived at the dock.
Wiping: This is how hard the Freo scrubs through
The narwhal Freo feels more comfortable when wiping. He relies on “Smart Swing” and “Dirt Sense” – sounds good, and it is! The scrubbing is done not by circular mops, but by slightly angular mops at the rear of the robot, which overlap a little in the middle. This ensures that not an inch remains uncleaned. Not even on the edge, because when it travels along the skirting board, the device repeatedly rotates in place so that the wiping pads cover the last distance to the edge. This takes a little longer, but there is hardly any dirt left behind. A small but helpful trick that only the top models from Dreame can do.
When cleaning surfaces, the rotating wipers apply a lot of contact pressure and enough water to the floor. The shaggy leaves hardly any streaks. When the Freo rolls over carpet, it automatically pulls its wiper upwards by up to twelve millimeters so that the carpet stays nice and dry. Great: The robot remembers particularly dirty areas, cleans its wipers in the dock, and then automatically does a second or even third round. On tiles, he saves himself having to vacuum and concentrates on thorough wet cleaning. This also removes the last stains and traces. Really smart! The included cleaning agent, which is also stored in the station, provides a little shine and a subtle scent. It is used in doses when moistening and rinsing the wipers.
Navigation: Narwhal likes things tidy
There’s little to complain about when it comes to navigation: the Freo keeps a good eye on its surroundings using a lidar sensor. The journeys seem well thought out, the device moves quickly through the rooms, takes little time to think about it and doesn’t miss any areas. Only when there is chaos in the apartment does it sometimes throw the robot out of rhythm. Infrared sensors are supposed to detect anything lying on the ground and order an evasive maneuver in good time. This still works perfectly with shoes. The eager Freo pushed socks and dog poop (made of plastic) around the room. A cell phone cable even wanted to be incorporated. The Freo lacks cross lasers or cameras built into the front apron, which can also detect flat objects and leave them lying on the left.
Narwal Freo: review conclusion and price
The Freo isn’t the best robot vacuum and mop on the market, but it’s close. The top models from the competition vacuum a little more thoroughly and can often handle objects lying around better. But they also cost a few hundred euros more. Narwal can really shine when wiping. The robot doesn’t miss any spot and automatically visits particularly dirty areas several times until everything is sparkling clean. The dock also leaves little to be desired, the only thing missing is a suction function. This makes the Narwal Freo for 849 dollars a recommendation for anyone who has a lot of parquet and tiles to scrub but little carpet to vacuum.
Narwal Freo Review Conclusion
The Freo isn’t the best robot vacuum and mop on the market, but it’s close. The top models from the competition vacuum a little more thoroughly and can often handle objects lying around better. But they also cost a few hundred dollars more. Narwal can really shine when wiping. The robot doesn’t miss any spot and automatically visits particularly dirty areas several times until everything is sparkling clean. The dock also leaves little to be desired, the only thing missing is a suction function. This makes the Narwal Freo a recommendation for everyone who has a lot of parquet and tiles to scrub but little carpet to vacuum.